Sunday, October 16, 2005

H5N1 Revision

One of the major stories in the news is the chicken flu or avian influenza. I've been hearing and reading in the news and it's a pretty bad flu that can hurt human beings. But I don't know that much about it so I decided to research it and hopefully develop a better understanding.
The first thing I wanted to know was what is it? The virus that is affecting humans and chickens is the H5N1, it's one of the 15 types of avian influenza that infects birds around the world. The virus is contagious and fatal to birds, and can be transitted to humans.
However, research has shown that its not SARS. This virus can't readily be contained like SARS, and this strain of the virus can hurt human beings more than SARS.
The second question I wanted to know is how are birds being exposed? Poultry is being exposed to it by wild birds. The virus can survive for four days in 71 Fahrenheit and more than 30 days at 32 Fahrenheit. This current outbreak is being blamed in chickens and thier droppings.
The third question I asked and researched was when was the first outbreak? From what I remembered, the first outbreak was in Hong Kong in 1997. From what I researched was that a total of 18 people were hosptialized and six people were reported to have died from the virus. Also, 1.5 million chickens were destroyed.
From what I have been researching, the virus can affect human beings. But how? If the virus gets into contact with a human the virus mutates. The virus will combine itself to a human influenza and can be passed on to person-to person. Since there is no vaccine for this type of bird flu, researchers have found the virus can be treated with flu drugs. The two types of drugs are the Tamiflu and Relenza. To prevent further outbreak, chickens and others animals that have been exposed to the virus are being destroyed.
My personal thoughts on this is that I hope researchers can find a vaccine for people and animals. I believe this virus should ever come to America, it'll do great damage to our ecomony and corporation farms. The only solution right now for the virus is to kill the live stock, however, this too can damage the ecomony becasue it costs money to dispose that much waste. In the end, I just hope America will be prepared if the virus should come here.


Post a Comment

<< Home